Coach K: Zion Williamson Doubtful to Play Saturday vs. UNC

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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke with reporters on Friday in advance of the game in Chapel Hill and updated Williamson's health status. North Carolina, but he offered his most fervent assurance that the freshman and possible player of the year will return to action soon.

Duke Blue Devils superstar forward Zion Williamson is not expected to return for Saturday's road game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

"The way it's going, he's not going to be doubtful for the tournament", Krzyzewski said according to ESPN.

"But at the same time I'm just trying to get better so I guess we can peak at the right time as a team". Kryzewski added he "would be surprised" if Williamson wasn't prepared for the ACC Tournament, which begins Tuesday. In the aftermath of the injury - caused by a blown-out sneaker - some wondered if Williamson should sit out the rest of the way to preserve his draft stock.

"We gave ourselves a chance", coach Danny Manning said. "We tried to recruit him very, very hard". North Carolina has won 13 of its last 14 games, including a 16-point victory at Duke on February 20, when Williamson sprained his right knee some 30 seconds into the game. Only two top seeds will get to play in Columbia, S.C. -the other will be shipped further away.

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"We're not as good as we are with him-that's the first thing", Krzyzewski explained. You are going to play.' The kid is a victor. There is no kid like that. Despite interest from other big name programs, Evans feels as if the Tar Heels and Blue Devils could end up being the teams to beat in the recruitment of class of 2021 prospect Cam Hayes.

Wade's One Last Dance tour made a stop at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, even though Williamson wasn't on the court. "We needed to take a few losses to keep us humble and working and fighting. And if he doesn't, we're a team full of fighters".

So, when will Williamson play next? "He'll be in some basketball workouts now". We did not do a good job with that. "For me, it's a great sign".

And if Williamson does play, the Tar Heels - winners of six straight and 13 of their past 14 - will not afford the Blue Devils time to rebuild their chemistry with the soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick back in the rotation for the first time since the first 33 seconds of the rivals' first meeting.

Wake Forest: This one will sting for the Demon Deacons, who have struggled throughout Manning's fifth season while losing nine games by 20 or more points.